Juan Ponce de Léon House Museum (Casa Museo Juan Ponce de Léon)
The former home of explorer and governor of Puerto Rico Juan Ponce de Léon, Casa Ponce de Léon is a simple stone building with an important place in history. Visitors come to travel over 500 years back in time to the days of great oceanic exploration and see an important landmark in the history of the Americas.
Explorer and conquistador Juan Ponce de Léon first visited the Americas as part of Christopher Columbus’ second mission in 1493. He remained in Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic and Haiti) and was named the first governor of Puerto Rico in 1509. From 1502 to 1508 he, his wife, and their three daughters lived in the simple, fortified stone house near San Rafael de Yuma designed with small doors and windows for additional safety against intruders. Today the Ponce de Léon House museum still contains some of the family’s possessions, including furniture, chests, and even his suit of armor.
You can visit the museum independently or as part of a guided tour from Punta Cana, some of which also explore nearby beaches and caves.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Ponce de Léon House is ideal for history buffs.
- Tours of the house are available in Spanish only.
- Nearby Boca de Yuma is a popular snorkeling spot.
How to Get There
Within driving distance of the resorts of Punta Cana and La Romana, the house is in a fairly isolated area near the town of Boca de Yuma. Most visitors drive to the house, take a taxi, or arrive with a guided tour that includes transportation.
When to Get There
The house is open from 10am to 1pm Tuesday through Sunday.
Enjoy the Bright Lights of Punta Cana
On the Dominican Republic’s southeast coast, the resort town of Punta Cana has it all—white-sand beaches, water that’s ideal for swimming, lively restaurants and resort bars, and a wide variety of water sports. It’s a very popular choice for vacationers looking for a sunny getaway, especially in winter.